Skip to main content

tv   Click  BBC News  October 31, 2021 4:30am-5:01am GMT

4:30 am
the headlines: leaders of the world's 20 major economies have approved a global agreement that will see the profits of large businesses taxed at least 15%. it follows concern that multinational companies are rerouting their profits through low—tax jurisdictions. the measures are due to come into effect in 2023. the prime minister boris johnson has acknowledged there is what he called �*turbulence�* in relations between london and paris. his comments follow a dispute overfishing rights. france says dozens of vessels have been denied licenses they're entitled to, and has threatened to introduce targeted measures against britain in response. and the sudanese security forces have fired live rounds and tear gas at large crowds of pro—democracy protesters in the capital, khartoum, and elsewhere. three people were killed. an activist told the bbc that about 100 people had been injured, 17 of them by gufire.
4:31 am
now on the bbc, it's time for click. this week — catching carbon. scannable snacks. and food, made from thin air. tick, tick... we've heard the warnings for some time. they have been getting louder and louder. the question is has our time to act run out? 2020 was the joint hottest year on record. hurricanes and flash floods have battered the planet. the earth is in crisis. and maybe, just maybe, this time, something will be done.
4:32 am
next week, we'll be at the cop26 un climate change conference in glasgow, where pressure is building on those in power to make big changes. and this is the first of three click specials all about sustainability — what we can change and how much technology can help. we all know plastic is a problem for our planet. left unchecked, the ocean could contain more plastic than fish by 2050. but much of the harm comes from things that we cannot see so clearly, like the fossil fuels emitting greenhouse gases. they currently emit more than 30 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, and every bit of c02 that goes into the air pushes the global temperature up just that little bit more. and we can'tjust flick a switch, turn everything off and kill our missions dead,
4:33 am
so even to get to net zero, we're going to have to start sucking huge amounts of c02 back out. dan simmons and nick kwek have been looking into carbon capture technologies to see if they really could help us turn back the clock. clock ticks. for this film, we are focusing on c02 — the carbon that is produced mainly by burning fossil fuels and is the biggest contributor to rising temperatures. for decades, we've been able to capture carbon dioxide at scale at the source it's produced. in 2014, this was the first power station to use what's called carbon capture and storage. the flue gases are diverted to a purpose—built facility where the c02 is stripped away in a chemical process. it's then compressed and stored two miles underground. more on how that works later. the system here stops around two—thirds of the c02 from reaching the atmosphere.
4:34 am
last year, that was three quarters of a million tons. other projects are even more efficient. so couldn't we just ramp this up a notch or two and solve climate crisis for good? well, in theory, that would need tens of thousands more of these and today, we have fewer than 30 worldwide and sort of the same number again promised for the next 20 years. and it seems ccs, at least so far, is not a big winner. despite concerted efforts over the past two decades, really, it has not taken off as a successful, economically viable technology at commercial scales, and that's because it's very costly — you know, you cannot fit carbon capture to the exhaust pipes of cars, for example, you know, the technologyjust is not downscalable to that sort of size. so now, another way to capture carbon is gaining ground, one that does not have to be
4:35 am
where the pollution is created. in fact, you could put it in some of the cleanest parts of the world. i've come to switzerland to, look at an exciting and relatively new way to clean up the planet's atmosphere, and it is being pioneered right here. climeworks is one of the companies hoping the answer to the great carbon clean—up is in the thin air around us. these huge intake fans called collectors are sucking in the air from around them and they are taking out the c02, and because c02 is around us everywhere, you can place these, well, pretty much anywhere on the planet they can be cleaning up the environment. natalie casas leads the team here. she moved from carbon capture to direct air capture after seeing expensive projects scrapped because of their cost. so we have a 2—stage process.
4:36 am
in the first stage, we blow air through. c02 sticks on the material, they are purified air — so air without c02 or with very little c02 — leaves the box. when the filter is full, we close the door and start heating. we heat up the collector up to 100 degrees, c02 is released and we take it out. once the filters are cleaned, the carbon capture can start all over again. it's a pleasure for me to introduce you to our testing laboratory. we're the first camera crew allowed into climeworks�* labs, where they have been experimenting with thousands of materials to try to find the most effective at absorbing c02, and at which temperatures. because nobody�*s interested to remove a bit of c02, we are all interested in removing large amounts of c02, millions of tons, so we have to rely on materials that can be produced in the large scale in a very short time.
4:37 am
our focus is showing the world we can remove c02 from the atmosphere with a reasonable cost that can be improved in time. there's some cause for optimism too. this is one of the first collectors and it takes out about 60 tons a year of c02 from the atmosphere. now, next year, the company say they can reach triple that efficiency — 200 tons a year — and that bodes well for 2050. by getting this capture plant to run on waste energy, its own carbon footprint is about 10—15% of what it's capable of removing over its lifetime. and climeworks�* biggest project to date, 0rca, has just kicked into life last month in iceland. it captures 4000 tons of c02 each year. the company sells the permanent removal of co2 by weight. even individuals can buy in. but in reality, it's mainly companies wanting to go green with a better environmental record.
4:38 am
at the time we decided to build 0rca, we did not have the certainty from the market because it simply was not existing. so it was a huge risk—taking for us but already today, a large share of that capacity is contracted, and we are very thankful and happy that this happened and that, actually, fuels and motivate us to get going and actually already work on the scale—up of the next plan. on a larger scale, companies such as carbon engineering are planning huge plants in north—east scotland and texas, which will each remove up to a million tons of carbon dioxide a year. but what of the carbon once it's captured? nick kwek is in iceland, where a very green energy facility is leading the way. this is one of the cleanest geothermal power plants on the planet. but it's also the test bed for some new technology which could make a huge difference when it comes to the global fight
4:39 am
against climate change. the hellisheidi power station's emissions are being used by carbon capture and storage company carbfix, that's turning c02 to stone. it comes in directly from the power station and it enters that tower from the bottom here. then we inject cold water at the top and the c02 becomes dissolved in water. crucial to the process is this giant oversized sodastream—like tower. it makes sparkling water, then it's ready to be transported to our injection site. these metal igloos — or giant christmas puddings, depending how hungry you are — is where we start to get subterranean. here, the carbonated liquid is forced a kilometre underground, where it meets the volcanic basalt rock. basalt has a lot of the metal that is required to permanently bind the c02. so once it gets in contact with the basalt, it's gonna form stable carbonate minerals, where it will be permanently stored.
4:40 am
so it is an ideal rock. so this is the basalt rock in its naturalform. incredibly porous for all of the carbonated water to get in and fill every nook and cranny. and this, 2a months later, it crystallises and forms calcite inside the basalt rock and now, it's pretty rock—solid. so you are looking to inject a lot of water into a lot of rock. do you have enough rock to manage it? yes, so in iceland alone, we have the potential to store 1000 gigatons in basalt here, and this is even before looking at the rest of the world. for some industries, carbon dioxide is not to be buried — it is a vital commodity. this is beer which is being filtered and it's about to go into either keg or bottle, but this is where the c02 is injected in line as it's passing along the pipe and this
4:41 am
is what makes the beer fizzy and carbonated. why valley brewery in herefordshire needs half a pint of liquid c02 delivered for every pint they make — that's 3 million litres a year. without it, the beer would be completely flat and undrinkable, so c02 is essential. but if c02 is all around us, shouldn't these companies be able to harvest it themselves? that's where these future—looking refrigerator—sized units come in from a new us start—up. we can provide co2 for large food packaging plants, all the way down to a small machine air — to pull all the c02 right out of the air from inside the restaurant or bar right to the soda gun or the tap. they do it by using these cubes with thousands of tiny holes through them. the whole thing is coated in a chemical that absorbs c02. as the air travels through, the tiny holes provide an enormous surface area, meaning a high proportion of the c02 touches the surface and is absorbed.
4:42 am
steam is then used to wash out the c02 which is processed and stored, ready for local use. this can then start its work over again. three commercial trials are already under way, but this solution is relatively small beer. perhaps one of the best technologies at solving the carbon problem is nature itself. i've come to brynau wood in south wales, one the last patches of a once enormous ancient woodland. today, a reforestation project is under way. many countries have committed to planting more trees to soak up c02 but my guide gwyn says the mix of trees planted is crucial to success. when there is a mixed
4:43 am
amount of tree species within a forest, so the more biodiverse we have in terms of what's above the ground, the more biodiverse is below the ground and the more carbon ends up in the soil, where it is stored for a very, very long time. so does he think nature alone could lead us to carbon neutrality? this is a recent plantation. there's around about 15—20 different shrub and tree species and this was planted last year, in the last winter, which is a year ago for us now but, as you can see, they are really not getting anywhere above waist height. that really puts emphasis on how we have to conserve our mature forests because this plantation here is going to probably take maybe 20, 30 years to really have an impact. it's been estimated that to reduce co2 by a billion tons, you'd need a new forest twice the size of california. but together, could technology and nature suck up the c02 mess we're currently making?
4:44 am
if we look at planting trees or afforestation, then the feeling was that that could remove something of the order of about 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide by mid century. and with carbon capture and storage which, if done right, could also be a net carbon removal technology, that might contribute something like 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide removal by mid century. and then direct air capture, something like three, may be as high as 5, billion tons by mid century. now, if you add all of those up, you are talking about 10 billion tons of c02 removal by mid century. that might seem like a lot but comparing it to our current emissions, which are 35 billion tons of c02, it only represents about a third of the solution. and so, that means to deal with the other two—thirds, we need to get much more energy—efficient and if, on top of that, carbon removal technologies can help us along the way, then that is great, but let's not pin our hopes
4:45 am
on those technologies alone. hello and welcome to the week in tech. it was the week uk schools paused the use of facial recognition on children to take lunch payments, just days after it was introduced. the us revoked china telecom's license to do business in the states, citing national security concerns. and amid whistle—blowers�* claims of prioritising profit oversafety, facebook revealed its quarterly profits of $9 billion, that's up by 17% on the same time last year. the world's largest 3d printed neighbourhood consisting of 100 homes will be built in texas in 2022. a cement—like mixture is used to 3d—print layers before human builders complete the shells, adding roofs, doors and windows. car hire company hertz has ordered 100,000 tesla model 3 cars, and has partnered with ride sharing outfit uber to rent half
4:46 am
of these to drivers. the move to sustainable electric fleets starts to hit the road next couple of years, though prospective uber ev drivers will pay around $300 per week to rent their vehicle. and from driving to floating, anchors aweigh, here comes the remote—controlled robot boat — or ro—boat. cruising amsterdam's canals after six years in the making, this plucky powerboat carries up to five passengers, goes a blistering four miles an hour and uses small cameras to get around the dock, with the hope of becoming completely autonomous in the next 2—4 years. it was a—boat time! plastic is durable, lightweight and cheap. but by 20110, 29 million metric tons of it are expected to enter our oceans each year. that's 50 kg of plastic for every every metre of coastline worldwide. 0ne immediate way we can reduce
4:47 am
this impact is to reuse the packaging that we get our takeaways in. and here is an app that hopes to help. time for brunch! club zero has just launched across 20 restaurants and cafes in london's king's cross, allowing customers to opt for reusable containers. would you like to use our club zero packaging? yes please, there you go. the service scans your app and any boxes and cups, and as long as you return them, you are rewarded with points and discounts. thank you. that certainly feels a lot more solid than disposable packaging, although i have been given a throwaway knife and fork. it is already available for deliveries via just eat. when you are done, cups and lids go in one of these drop—offs. the qr codes will be scanned so they know you have returned them. each item is reused 250 times before being recycled. they are also 100% recyclable, the bigger picture of the circular economy is not just designing a reasonable
4:48 am
packaging item but making sure the material is also reused. as for that plastic cutlery, let's pretend those bits never happened. but making plastic also requires fossil fuels, using as much oil as the world's aviation industry. so in finland, scientists are creating entirely new alternatives out of wood. it is similar to paper, made of sustainable wood fibres, it is made in paper machines, recyclable in paper recycling, but it performs similar to plastic. this is paptic, twice as strong as paper, but 50% thinner and water resistant. it can replace plastic bags, packaging for online shopping and food packets that don't need to be airtight. all thanks to some novel whipping tech. we can replace two—thirds of water with air. the foam enables us to disperse the fibres much more
4:49 am
efficiently and that helps us to simplify the process. a smaller process consumes less energy, less water. the big benefit here is that i can recycle this along with my paper waste. and even if i didn't, it would just take several years to break down instead of thousands of years. i can also feel that the bag is stronger than paper, albeit not quite as strong as plastic. clearly, though, this won't be able to replace all kinds of plastic. but another finnish alternative does have the tough, mouldable qualities needed for cosmetics or food. it's almost impossible to guess that these aren't plastic. it is only close—up that you can see its natural origins, and that is wood combine with natural binders and dyes. so our material biodegrades almost exactly the same time period as the same thickness of wood. microbes are able to eat our material and then our material
4:50 am
biodegrades into c02, water and biomass. ingredients can be put through existing moulding machines. the material would struggle with housing hazardous chemicals though, and it's end—of—life is proving problematic. it can be mechanically or chemically recycled. the problem is that the volumes are so small that it doesn't make any sense that the current plastic recycling infrastructure collects and sorts our material out. so for this to really work it needs to be scaled — both to bring the cost down, but also to make sure that these materials are recognised for recycling. the technology is there, though, and hopefully soon when it comes to plastic, we won'tjust have to suck it up. spencer: hmm, and lara assures me that was just water. right, let's turn from packaging now to what is in the packaging. producing food is itself not that green. farming contributes more than
4:51 am
8% of all greenhouse gases. we are already beyond the boundaries of what the world can sustain in terms of human population, so we need to be much more efficient in what we do. and jp may have a solution. i am in finland, just outside helsinki — but i can't tell you where, because this is a super—secret test centre, where they are taking c02 out of the air, and brewing something rather special. oh my gosh! you have got to see this, this is bubbling. in these vats is a newly discovered species of microbe. the bacteria multiplies very quickly, feeding on minerals, on c02 from the air and hydrogen, which is also taken from water in the air using electrolysis. and every day, some of it is drained off, superheated, dried and turned
4:52 am
into a kind of protein powder that they are calling solein. this is food that doesn't need vast fields — itjust needs a warm, dark place to grow. this pilot project is turning 2kg of c02 into 1kg of powder every day, and the only by—product is water, which is also recycled. we are building the bigger facility, which is in scale, it's100 times bigger. it would take roughly two years, and we also assume that getting a kind of eu novel food permit, it also takes two years. food technologist anna hakamies has been studying the structure, taste and nutritional value of solein to create new foods. so this is it, this is the raw solein powder. obviously you are not supposed to eat itjust like this because if you do... it tastes like...
4:53 am
well, like floor. what would you have to do with this powder before you can actually add it to food? solein can be used as an ingredient in meat replacing products, other non—dairy products, and then also plant products, cereals and even pasta. i have been told that you have prepared something that is not the raw powder for me to eat. yeah, ice cream. ice cream! it is quite appetising, i have to say, garnished with a few petals. yeah, there's only four ingredients. like, solein, water, fat and sugar. it is very nice. it is actually more like a sorbet than an ice cream. it's italian gelato. i get paid to do this!
4:54 am
the powder is 65% protein, so 2.5 times more than cooked lean beef. it is also 15% carbs and 8% fat with lots of amino acids, vitamins and minerals. how many people have tried this so far? actually. ..eight. wow! so am my number eight? nine. i am number nine. so if this does get regulatory approval and it does go on sale in 2023, this could provide an alternative to meat and crops that is climate friendly. and when i say climate friendly... it is dairy free, which trust me, everyone in the room will be glad about in half an hour. there is another cut in emissions right there. and that is it for the first of our three sustainability specials. next week we are going to be live at cop26 in glasgow for what should be a very interesting week. in the meantime, you can catch
4:55 am
up with us on social media, as ever, on facebook, youtube, instagram and twitter at @bbcclick. thanks for watching and... get your own ice cream! good morning. saturday started off very wet for some of us but the story quickly improved to some sunny spells in the afternoon and just some isolated showers and areas have seen some pretty miserable weather recently including the borders, well, it was better today with glimpses of sunshine around. similar story today. sunday will start off pretty wet across some areas with a significant area of low pressure and into the southern flank
4:56 am
of that low we are likely to see gale—force winds and that may act as a friend in some respects. it will push the heavy early morning rain quickly northwards and it will tend to linger across the far north of scotland but an improvement as we go through the morning and into the afternoon with a frequent cluster of showers driven in along west—facing coasts. gusts of winds inland close to 30mph, but those west facing coasts, possibly 50mph at times. in terms of the feel of the weather, 10—13 degrees in scotland and northern ireland, 13 or 1a further south. moving out of sunday into start of monday and the start of a new month, the low pressure will drift off into scandinavia and the wind direction will swing north—westerly, a cooler source, and that will drive the warmer yellow tones back to the continent, the cooler air mass pushing across the uk, meaning temperatures
4:57 am
in the first few days of november could bejust a little bit under par for this time of year. we start off monday on a chilly note first thing where we have clearer skies and a frequent rash of showers driven along by the brisk north—westerly wind, some showers pushed further south as we go through the afternoon. temperatures just 8—10 degrees into the north and may be a maximum of 12 or 13 further south. the middle part of the week, that north—westerly flow is likely to stay with us and we see the ridge of high pressure trying to build in from the atlantic, and it is likely to kill off some of the showers but it does mean that we are going to stay on the cool side for this time of year. it also means we could see more in the way of overnight frost and we have not seen much significant frost so far this season but it means that overall things will stay dry and quieter but on the cool side as we go through the week ahead. take care.
4:58 am
4:59 am
5:00 am
hello, you're watching bbc news. i'm rich preston. our top stories: covid, climate change and iran. pressing issues being hammered out by world leaders at the g20 summit in rome. three people killed in sudan in protesting against the military. haiti's health system is on the verge of collapse with gangs holding the country's fuel supply hostage. and voting gets under way injapan. the governing liberal—democratic party hoping to maintain its grip on power.

67 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on